On 19th November 1941 the HMAS Sydney II, an Australian warship, sunk during a sea battle off the Western Australian coast. None of the 645 crew members survived. The loss of the HMAS Sydney II remains Australia’s greatest naval tragedy.
When not engaged at sea, the HMAS Sydney II was moored at the Port of Fremantle. During that time, members of the ship’s crew would come to Leighton Beach to participate in surf club activities and share a love of the ocean.
For many of these sailors, our beach was a home away from home and a welcome break from the discipline of active war duty.
Fremantle Surf Life Saving Club (formally Leighton Surf Club) continues to annually recognise the ultimate sacrifice given by the crew of the HMAS Sydney II.
We will therefore, this Sunday, commemorate the memory of the 645 crew who lost their lives.